VAR500: IT Health-Care Comes In Focus For CDW, ACS, HP, CIBER

VAR500 Solution Providers Find Health-Care Opportunities

IT health-care was the key segment for VAR500 solution providers this week, particularly in the area of tools to provide electronic records management. CDW, ACS, CIBER and HP each announced deals to provide IT health-care solutions. In addition, a report was released noting that the IT health-care segment was active for professional services firms as health-care providers look for assistance with clinical system implementations.

Xerox' ACS Steps Up Health-care Practice

Health-care organizations are increasingly using the services of ACS, a Xerox company, to advise them on everything from securing "meaningful use funding" to building Health Information Exchanges. To that end, Xerox has appointed Markus Fromherz, a scientist and former director at the Palo Alto Research Center, as chief innovation officer for health care.

The ACS unit provides health-care solutions to hospitals including Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. and Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J., on electronic health record (EHR) solutions to help institutions get the most out of meaningful use stimulus funding. That includes steps such as helping select vendors for deploying, integrating and supporting technology. Wyoming is one of several states ACS is helping to implement a Web-based EHR/HIE system. With the Wyoming Department of Health, ACS will help integrate the solution with the state’s Medicaid Management Information System, other EHR systems, designated laboratories and the state’s immunization registry.

CDW Survey: Public Worried About EHR Security

Although Americans say they trust their doctors to keep their health-care records private, they don't seem so sure about computerized records systems, reports a new survey from CDW. That means VARs may have to work harder to prove the worth of their IT health-care solutions.

Thirty-five percent of 1,000 respondents fear their health information will become available on the Internet. Half of the respondents believe that electronic health records (EHRs) will have a negative impact on the privacy of their health data. Furthermore, 24 percent of respondents said they don't even trust themselves with access to their own records. A mere 27 percent of respondents thought EHRs would have a somewhat positive or significantly positive affect on their privacy. An additional 24 percent said that EHRs would have no impact on privacy at all.

CIBER Solutions Reduces Health-Care Costs

CIBER has recently completed several IT health-care solutions projects that will help clients reduce costs, improve speed to market and engage consumers. Three of note:

-- CIBER leveraged its Global Solution Centers in the U.S. to provide application development, testing and enterprise integration services to a leading health-care firm in Minnesota, achieving 22 percent cost savings.

-- The largest health insurer in North Carolina was experiencing high attrition rate of consultants and losing valuable knowledge base upon assignment expirations. CIBER implemented a Managed Services Engagement to address immediate staffing needs.

-- CIBER helped one of the largest integrated regional health care delivery systems in Wisconsin to integrate business operations.

HP Health-Care Solutions At 7 Top Firms

HP this week announced that seven of the top 10 health-Care companies have chosen its imaging and printing solutions to drive both clinical and financial value. HP’s health-care products, solutions and services are being used at Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Centra Health, Children’s Hospital Boston, Cigna, Exempla Healthcare, Health Net, Humana, and San Juan Regional Medical Center.

For example, one of the largest challenges for health-care providers is keeping a complete patient health record in digital form. A high percentage of data, such as external test results, resides outside the patient record and often in multiple formats, such as paper, images, videos and dictation. Health-care providers and payers can consolidate this data into one file that is accessible to all providers using the HP Distributed Document Capture Solution for Healthcare.

Study Reveals Health-care Providers Seek IT Help

Researcher CapSite has released its 2011 U.S. Professional Services Study, a strategic analysis of the Healthcare Management Consulting market. The research found that there is an "active market" for professional services firms as health-care providers look for assistance with clinical system implementations.

"Our study found the market for clinical engagements has been accelerating since 2008, with 44 percent of U.S. hospitals having engaged a professional services firm for a clinical project during this timeframe," said CapSite Sr. VP and GM, Gino Johnson. ’While the market for RCM engagements slowed in 2009, we found that activity picked back up in 2010 with the strongest demand projected for firms to assist in optimizing providers' revenue cycle."